Thursday, May 18, 2006

BNA Promotes Local Transparency

The Bloomfield Neighborhood Association will be hosting a meeting on Saturday (May 20) regarding transparency in local government. The meeting will be held in the Art Room at the Bloomfield College Library. More info:

On Saturday, May 20, at 10 a.m., in the Art Room of the Bloomfield College Library, the Bloomfield Neighborhood Association will be hosting two guest speakers: Councilwoman Janice Maly(far right in photo), who will be giving a status report on the hiring of a Channel 35 station manager, as well as the overall progress of township’s efforts to televise all public meetings; and Martin O’Shea, a West Milford activist who helped draft a new open government bill currently before both the state senate and assembly (S-1219/A-2762). The Art Room is accessible through the library’s main reading room.
Martin O’Shea is one of the primary drafters of the bill, which is intended to reform the Open Public Meetings Act, which became state law in 1975.

Introduced in January 2006 by State Senators Robert Martin (R-Morris Plains) and Ellen Karcher (D-Freehold), Senate Bill 1219 would compel public bodies, among other things, to hold open meetings of all subcommittees, require them to post relevant public information on a website and require them to record and keep more comprehensive minutes of all meetings. An identical bill was simultaneously introduced to the assembly.

O’Shea has been active for years in the Township of West Milford monitoring meetings of the municipality’s council, board of education and planning board. He has also worked on open government issues with other activists around the state.


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